Nihility: Infinite Teeth [Shareware Episode] v1.21


v.1.21

Hello everybody! I am Years and I have made a vanilla E2 replacement/PC for Ultimate Doom. It's called Nihility and I'll hopefully one day expand it into a full 36-level megawad. It's an old-school style wad with some new and replaced monsters and weapons, inspired by the Alphas/Beta but also old-school 90's partial conversions aka Strain. If you like DTWID, No End In Sight, Monti's favillesco and erkatane episodes, and Doom: The Lost Episode then you might enjoy this. If you don't like abstract, explorational and moody maps (and graytall) you should probably steer clear.

Anyway, the features:

Spoiler

-Designed and tested in and for Vanilla/Chocolate Doom (specifically -complevel 3). If you use chocodoom don't forget to turn on unlimited save file sizes due to the size of some of the maps.
-DEH file mandatory!
-Episode 2 replacement: "Infinite Teeth", Hence a E2 inspired theme.
-9 Levels, some quite large (8 + 1 secret)
-medium-high difficulty (different difficulty levels are provided).
-New and replaced monsters added via DEH, including baron variants, the rapid-fire imp, the wraith and kamikaze zombies.
-Weapons slightly modified: Pistol replaced with the Alpha 0.4 rifle which is faster and perfectly accurate. Bayonet replaces fist, also slightly faster (so it is easier to time). Bullet capacity increased to 600. New textures for nearly all the other weapons, but generally unchanged behaviour.
-no music (yet...), instead I rely ambient sounds and drones (The alphas never had music...).
-new graphics, textures, decorations etc.
-pistol-start friendly.
-Co-op starts there, but untested.

screenshots:
Spoiler













updates:
Spoiler

-Red Baron now Lord of Heresy, behaves the same, but more visually distinct
-shotgun sound cleaned up
-lost soul sprite cleaned up
-all music removed
-HUD cleaned up
-various gamebreaking level fixes, gameplay rebalancing, texture alignments and added details
-grey baron has slightly faster attack (2 tics)
-many more slight general changes

v1.21
-gargoyle switches more obvious
-some HOMs removed


Download:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/qwwcw4e4sypuemq/Nihility121.zip?dl=0

credits:
Spoiler

Suicide zombie: Tormentor667 (Bestiary)
Wraith: Ghastly_dragon (Bestiary)
Sound: Blood, Quake, Doom 3
Heresy lord: Vader
Textures: Alpha doom, No End In Sight
Rifle flash sprites - Uboa
Alpha and Beta doom for sprites.
Sky - recoloured sky from Romero's early doom material dump.
Text: Doom Writer
Ambience: Blood, Quake
New sound effects: me
If I forgot anything or anyone, let me know!

It would be nice if I could get some constructive playtesting and feedback for this. These maps were originally me practicing mapping so shout out any advice and help me improve my mapping for the next 3 episodes! :)

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Just finished the first map, and I want more! This is super fun with lots of exploring and killing to do! Even though certain parts of the level was very reminiscent of the original E2, there are still plenty of creativity present in your architecture and layout. Tons of atmosphere and just the right amount of new stuff keeps my interest and curiosity peeked for more. I hope the rest of the episode is just as good! :)

I noticed a bug where a Cacodemon in sector 34 can't teleport to sector 172 because thing 102 is only marked as hard while the Caco is on all difficulties (I played on HMP btw).

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Thanks for the comments! I've fixed the problem for the next version and I'll put up v1.1 after some more extensive bug testing.

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There is a Baron of Hell in map 2 that can't teleport either.

EDIT: Also, these flats are turned the wrong way around.

EDIT2: There's a HOM at this area when the wall has lowered.

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thanks for the bugtest! Baron tag and HOM fixed. I actually thought that flat was the right way around all this time... but after looking at the original iwads I saw you were right. I swapped them around for the entire episode!

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You can mark linedefs with lower and upper unpegged to avoid texture misalignments in windows. Also, the shotgun fire sound is a bit unsynchronized.

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You should put the DEHACKED file into the wad (into a lump named "DEHACKED") as well as separately, so that users of advanced source ports will be able to play the wad conveniently without having to load the .deh file manually.

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I haven't got much time for playing wads these days, so I'm only at M3 at the moment. And I'm still enjoying it very much! You're very good at creating varied and fun gameplay both in terms of using monsters according to their strengths, but also with lots of surprises and traps that are never unfair. The lack of properly aligned textures are completely forgiven because of the weird and wonderful environments that really have a super oldschool wipe to it.

I noticed in M2 that linedef 1799 doesn't have a sector tagged to it, so the Baron of Hell (or whatever that new green skinned monster is called) never teleports out of his closet. Here's an advice: You know your level inside out, so always check to see if you can complete it with 100% secrets, kills and items before you release your pwad. I've never myself bothered to check for the latter, but kills and secrets are very important imho. Checking to see if you can get 100% is a good indicator that most tagged sectors, linedefs and secret areas are working as intended. Of course there can be exceptions, but it's a good rule of thumb I think :)

Ohh, and one last thing: Remember to include a text file that explains everything the player needs to know, but also where you got the various new stuff from like textures and sprites. It's important to give credit where it's due :) You can find a template/generator here: https://www.doomworld.com/idgames/?textmaker EDIT: Just noticed you gave credit in the OP. Sorry. But still, you need a text file in the zip! :)

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Fdas for maps 2-3-4, unfortunately I have overwritten the one of M1 while playing M2.
Cool mapset! It has a really good atmosphere, and it's kinda unique due to not having a soundtrack. How do you make those ambient noises in vanilla?
Like the others I noticed the new Baron that disappears and never comes back on M2.

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good release, anyone aiming work at vanilla ports gets an instant thumbs up from me

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@nicolas monti: I hope you like it! Your alpha episodes influenced this quite a bit.

@scifista42: Done.

@Chris Hansen: Thanks for the comments. I've fixed all the errors, and placed a credits in the zip. The Baron should not be green, the DEH (which is necessary) is meant to recolour him brown, grey and red for his variants.

@gaspe: Cool! Watching these now. I've fixed the mysterious vanishing baron bug in the latest download. I made ambience in vanilla via using unused thing slots (from doom 2) to make invisible objects which loop the sound (i.e. using the "scream" function, setting the tic length to the same length as the drone).

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years said:

I made ambience in vanilla via using unused thing slots (from doom 2) to make invisible objects which loop the sound (i.e. using the "scream" function, setting the tics to the same as the drone).


Cool, I didn't know you could made such things in vanilla.

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Fdas for M5-6.
On M5 I died after picking up the red key, I took the teleport down the pit to go back instead of redoing the catwalk, and I got trapped by the monsters from below.
I think I had luck in M6 to feel what was happening at the yellow key, but I guess that a lot of players will complain about that trap, anyway I liked it :P along with all the crushers and the damaging floors it gives a cool grim mood to the map.

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@gaspe I saw you get blocked by infinitely tall monsters on that place on the FDA. Part of me likes it as a trap - you have to face the monsters head-on rather than snipe them from a secret, but if it was merely annoying I can add a lift or something.

With the floor-crusher trap, I try to give hints to most of my traps, especially really deadly ones, so a player can get ready, usually the form of a dead marine, or the "no people" sign. I might make the escape teleporter brighter so players are more aware of the escape so its more fair rather than chance-based. But I don't want too much hinting, otherwise it would no longer be a trap!

Keep the FDA's coming, they're great!

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Recorded a demo of my go at M4. It went OK until you flooded me with monsters at the red key and made me walk around in green shit at the same time. But I still had fun oddly enough :)

I was a bit puzzled to find the invulnerability sphere. I didn't pick it up at the time because I wanted to save it. I had a feeling that if I had picked it up, it would have been a bit of a waste. In retrospect I should have gone back to pick it up before I grabbed the red key... that had deadly trap written all over it! :D

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Fdas for M7-8.

On M7 I'm not really sure how I died here. I guess I wasted some medikits and I was sure I had to go into the nukage to get the blue key, I wasn't sure what to do until I found the soulsphere.
On M8 the door to the infirmary room near the chaingun is missing the action on one side. I pick up the blue key and went back there to get health but I was stuck so I had to restart the demo. I died many times in this map. I liked the last arena with the cyberdemon, and the map was pretty long and cool to explore before getting into the big battle.

I liked a lot this wad. Like I said before the noises without the music give a unique mood to the maps, and even the details and environments have a cool grim and sinister atmosphere, even a bit creepy sometimes. The maps put you a lot in awkward situations with damaging floors, lots of cramped spaces and even barrels.
The custom content was well used imo. The wraith impose themselves well in the cramped places, and I really hated the lost souls and those barons with the mancubus attack :P
I can't say I didn't like the weapons but many times I felt that they were a bit worse of the stock ones.

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Whoah, these screens look wicked. Going to have to try this out at the nearest opportunity.

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years said:

...inspired by the Alphas/Beta...
...old-school 90's partial conversions aka Strain...
...Monti's favillesco...

Say no more. I'm in love.

I've only played the first two maps, but this is already shaping up to be one of my favorite WADs in a long, long while. One minor complaint: I can only hear it on headphones, but the shotgun sound effect has kind of a weird, low, rumbling noise between the initial blast and the reload that gets annoying when you fire it a lot... and I'm not sure what it's supposed to be the sound of.

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Wow, played through the first three maps and this is excellent! Please, please make more!

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Wow this is a really great mapset! I really enjoyed the oldschool vibes and layouts that all interconnected beautifully and naturally. Plenty of good eye candy that doesn't use excessive amounts of micro-details and each room, whilst having random texture layouts (standard for E2 anyway) was pulled off well.

The enemy placement was great, nothing was unfair or excessive but still managed to present quite a challenge and not once did I let my guard down. The new additional monsters were really nice, some of them I found to be a little bit out of place in the DooM universe but still varied the gameplay from the original nicely. The health balance was absolutely perfect, I always just managed to find health right when I needed it, assuming I was willing to work for it via exploration. My only gripe being with the excessive amounts of ammo, as I found myself capped quite a lot and could spare no expense when unleashing shells into hell-spawn, which took away from some tactical decision making.

I really enjoyed some of the sound replacements, particularly the shotgun. It had a strange tone in it, but the lower frequencies make it SO satisfying to use, it made me feel like I was carrying an actual gun and not a pea-shooter.

Overall this was a really nice classic Doom experience, with some extremely enjoyable levels that presented some serious challenges and was fun every step of the way.

Great job!

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@gaspe I'll watch these soon. I've fixed the missing door action. Can you elaborate on what annoyed you about the weapons? Were they problematic aesthetically or gameplay-wise? Thanks for the continued support and FDAs!

@gifty thanks! three more episodes are planned.

@Ryathaen thanks! The low rumbling *might* be low-frequency reverb. I'll try and clean up the sound a little.

@Crunchynut44 thankyou! Roughly at what point in the episode (roughly) did you start getting too much ammo? I actually added more because I was worried people would not have enough! Furthermore, there is also balancing episode-playings vs. pistol-start playings. I wanted ammo to be scarce enough to get you anxious, but not annoying. Also I don't like people mainly using the shotgun all the time and not giving the other weapons their due.

@Superluigieth1 I hope that is a good thing! :)

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years said:

@Crunchynut44 thankyou! Roughly at what point in the episode (roughly) did you start getting too much ammo? I actually added more because I was worried people would not have enough! Furthermore, there is also balancing episode-playings vs. pistol-start playings. I wanted ammo to be scarce enough to get you anxious, but not annoying. Also I don't like people mainly using the shotgun all the time and not giving the other weapons their due.

Don't mean to step on any toes by answering for Crunchynut here, but in my experience I started to be maxed out on shells around M3 or so. I love how all the new guns look and feel, but unfortunately ended up sticking mostly to the shotgun because of how much ammo there was for it.

I've also played a ways further -- through the end of M6. My thoughts so far: You are a mapping wizard. I adore how organic and interconnected your levels are. I also have a soft spot for the alpha resources and always love seeing them used. All the guns serve essentially the same function as the originals, but the new graphics and sounds make them feel completely different and novel to use. It's especially awesome using these old-but-new guns against something like the alpha lost souls. Feels like playing an alternate-reality version of Doom.

I'm conflicted on the new enemies. The... wraiths? They fill a great niche -- a melee enemy that's faster than a demon and with a more dangerous attack, but easier to take down. High-threat enemies with low HP are always versatile and make things interesting.

The new lost soul is also cool, though the sprite maybe could be tweaked. They have red eyes/mouths, fire yellow projectiles, flash blue when hurt, and explode green on death. Little bit of a visual mess.

And I think there may be one or two too many palette swaps. The grey imps are fine, but three variants of baron? I'm not even sure what the difference is between all of them.

Lastly, a couple technical notes:

M5 -- It's nasty getting stuck in sector 391 after enemies start teleporting into the area below and you can't shoot them. Any way of preventing them from blocking you in?

M6 -- Linedef 729 should probably be an SR instead of a DR so that the switch clicks when you open the door.

I'm looking forward to playing M7 and M8 tomorrow. Fantastic, fantastic WAD.

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*claps*

See this shit? This shit right here? This is what Doom is.

It's about setting a deeply unsettling, terrifying atmosphere with the limited technical arsenal you have available, setting a vivid, engrossing scene by making the textures and the maps sing in harmony. Stretching the experience out carefully, making the player figure things out slowly with maps that make them think, make them pace themselves and appreciate the horrors on show, keeping them aware that nothing is what it seems with stark lighting, ambient sounds, unexpected traps and monster reveals, restricting what weapons the player has access to.

Wow. Way to take me back to 1993 - when I was... 2.

I've played M1-M2 right now, loving it a lot. Some of the "new" alpha-era resources are amusing in how dated they look, but that just adds to the charm. The introduction of that baron replacement monster was perfection. And the ambient sounds are amazing - subtle whirrs and hums just on the edge of perception that add more to that aura of terror. This mapset doesn't need music thanks to those.

On a random note, any chance you can give us the level names in English?

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years said:

@gaspe I'll watch these soon. I've fixed the missing door action. Can you elaborate on what annoyed you about the weapons? Were they problematic aesthetically or gameplay-wise?


The shotgun and the chaingun felt a bit less reliable/powerful that the stock ones, I guess I was just having a wrong impression maybe due to having some more tougher and tricky monsters than the regular ones.

Fda for M9.
I think that the ammo is too low in the first areas, if you miss the first secret it might be a big problem.

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@Jimmy: I'm sure there's some subtlety lost, but Google Translate's results look reasonable:



Need a proper speaker to confirm, of course. :P

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v1.2 is up! Sorry for the monster post, but I get a little perfectionistic so hopefully I have addressed all the issues. The latest link is here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/kk2nzfcavhf1rsm/Nihility12.zip?dl=0

Ryathaen said:

Don't mean to step on any toes by answering for Crunchynut here, but in my experience I started to be maxed out on shells around M3 or so.... ...unfortunately ended up sticking mostly to the shotgun because of how much ammo there was for it.

I've reduced the shells available around this part of the WAD, and I've increased the bullets a little to balance it. However, some ammo overload is necessary so its still friendly for pistol-starters.

The new lost soul is also cool, though the sprite maybe could be tweaked. They have red eyes/mouths, fire yellow projectiles, flash blue when hurt, and explode green on death. Little bit of a visual mess.


I've modified their palette a little and get rid of the blue and replace it with green like its death. It's still probably going to be aesthetically messy to keep some of the ugliness of the beta sprite, but hopefully its better now.

And I think there may be one or two too many palette swaps. The grey imps are fine, but three variants of baron? I'm not even sure what the difference is between all of them.


Fair enough. I've added a sprite replacement for the red baron (now Heresy Lord) so he is more visually distinctive. As for the differences between the barons:

Spoiler

The three "barons" each have a different attacking style. The brown baron is essentially a slightly harder hell knight (less HP = less time wasted on being a bullet sponge), the grey barons are rapid fire (i.e. like the arachnotron) and standard baron health, and the red barons have high HP, speed and a spread attack, being essentially a halfway point between a baron and a cyb.

They are there mostly for gameplay variance.

M5 -- It's nasty getting stuck in sector 391 after enemies start teleporting into the area below and you can't shoot them. Any way of preventing them from blocking you in?

M6 -- Linedef 729 should probably be an SR instead of a DR so that the switch clicks when you open the door.


Fixed in v1.2. Finally, Many thanks for the detailed critique!

Jimmy said:

Wow. Way to take me back to 1993 - when I was... 2.

thankyou :) ! I am glad I can help you have nostalgia for something you would not even remember. I was only around 3!

gaspe said:

The shotgun and the chaingun felt a bit less reliable/powerful that the stock ones, I guess I was just having a wrong impression maybe due to having some more tougher and tricky monsters than the regular ones.


Perhaps it is the tougher monster variants which the original D1 lacked. I have slightly reduced the HP for the higher baron variants in v1.2.. The suicide zombie has just-below chaingunner-level HP so they blow each other up less often, nerfed in 1.2. The beta lost soul and every other monster have their original HP, and the Baron is mostly replaced with the Brown Knight, who has nerfed health.

I think that the ammo is too low in the first areas, if you miss the first secret it might be a big problem.


I've put some of the ammo from the secret in plain view to balance it out.

@Xaser: They are basically all right (I don't speak German btw) except for Dämmerung which not only means dusk, but also dawn...

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